Occult Dominates Rivals in Monmouth Oaks

Occult | Angelo Benedetto/EQUI-PHOTO

It was a Halloween exacta come early as Occult (Into Mischief) dominated the GIII Monmouth Oaks over a determined Foggy Night (Khozan), giving jockey Feargal Lynch the black-type double in New Jersey.

Steadied last out in the GI Acorn at Big Sandy, but recovering well enough to finish third, the 7-5 favorite had already tasted success early this year in New York as the Busanda S. victress at Aqueduct before running fifth in the GIII Gazelle behind Promiseher America (American Pharoah).

Racing four wide after the jump and settling well in that spot off the rail, she was content to watch the contest unfold from seventh as the leading flight debated the pace. Advancing on the backside and five wide into the far bend, Occult caught the eye as she effortlessly circled the field to take charge at the top of the lane. Widening with every stride, she drew off from her rivals and left them 10 1/4 lengths in her wake as Foggy Night and Riding Pretty closed out the trifecta.

“She's a very big filly who needs time to find her stride and get into a nice rhythm. She'll keep going all day once she gets into her stride, so stamina was never an issue with her. I saw there was some cheap speed in here, so I let them go,” said the winning rider. “At the half-mile pole, I was just trying to find a way clear. Because she's such a big striding filly, you think you're going nowhere. But when I watch the replay, I am sure I will be impressed with the way she was moving. It's all about rhythm and momentum with a big horse like that.”

When asked if he'd been given any specific instructions to adhere to, Lynch replied: “Chad Brown never really ties you down with any instructions. He's great to ride for that way. We have a lot of faith in each other. He just said `get a good trip and win.'”

A half-sister to a pair of accomplished Tapits in Exulting and Magical, the latter with her own 2-year-old daughter by Into Mischief named Illusion, Occult is the most recent black-type runner for their dam and the 65th winner at the graded level for her sire. She has a 2-year-old full-brother Imagination and a 2023 half-brother already named Make My Day (Gun Runner).


Saturday, Monmouth Park
MONMOUTH OAKS-GIII, $272,500, Monmouth, 7-29, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:45.74, ft.
1–OCCULT, 119, f, 3, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Magical Feeling (GSW & GISP, $554,532), by Empire Maker
2nd Dam: Magical Mood (GB), by Forestry
3rd Dam: Good Mood, by Devil's Bag
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($625,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC; B-Peter E Blum Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Chad C Brown; J-Feargal Lynch. $150,000. Lifetime Record: GISP, 6-3-0-1, $327,450. *1/2 to Magical (Tapit), SW, $164,550; and Exulting (Tapit), MSW, $687,370. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click  for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free  Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Foggy Night, 121, f, 3, Khozan–Settling Seas, by Stormy Atlantic. ($20,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-Pine Brook Farm; B-Brent & Crystal Fernung (FL); T-Robert E Reid Jr. $50,000.
3–Riding Pretty, 116, f, 3, Jack Milton–High Renaissance, by Girolamo. 1ST BLACK-TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK-TYPE. O/B-Holly Crest Farm (NJ); T-Eddie Owens Jr. $35,000.
Margins: 10 1/4, 1 1/4, HF. Odds: 1.40, 2.80, 27.50.
Also Ran: Atthecrossroads, Promiseher America, Seduction, Vegas Magic, Miss New York, Shidabhuti, Ruthanne. Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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